WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Golf induces a lot of physical stress, especially on the back and elbow. Dr. Lawrence Foster believes golfers can prevent injury with a few simple precautions.
Foster is an orthopedic surgeon at Putnam Hospital Center and Somers Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Group. He’s also the author of “Dr. Divot’s Guide to Golf Injuries: A Handbook for Golf Injury Prevention and Treatment."
“The so-called ‘modern’ golf swing used by professionals and emulated by amateurs winds the spine up like a spring and uncoils it during the shot, putting stress on the lower back,’’ Foster said.
"Golfers are also at risk for developing tendonitis on the part of the lead elbow on the swing.”
Dr. Foster recommends the following precautions to ward off potential injuries:
• Perform conditioning exercises to strengthen and stretch the core and back. • Resist the impulse to play out of a difficult lie by swinging the club around an immovable object. • Stretch before beginning play. • Stretch during cold-weather rounds to avoid stiffening. • Take lessons from a teaching professional to eliminate potentially hazardous flaws in your swing.
If playing golf leads to pain lasting more than a week, speak with your primary care physician or a sports medicine specialist. Physicians in Health Quest, with which Dr. Foster is affiliated, can also advise golfers and other recreational athletes about avoiding injury.
During the golf season, golfers looking to play can consider several benefit outings for Health Quest hospitals. The next one up is Monday, September 23 when the Dr. Gil and Lyda Rojas Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit Putnam Hospital Center is held at Mahopac Golf Club. For information, contact Anita Minella at 845-230-4763.